Sport on TV: Even golf was swinging in the Sixties but it didn't help

 

Britain on Film (BBC4, Wednesday) featured footage from Rank's "Look at Life" sporting archives of the Sixties and included such gems as Richie Benaud on village cricket, traffic weaving in and out of the Tour of Britain peloton and Charles Palmer-Tomkinson becoming British ski champion. It's good to know that family have been a bunch of privileged layabouts for several generations.

Talking of pastimes for the idle rich, we also met Anne Sutton, a young woman who took up golf when it was opened up to a wider public in that decade. "Nearly half a million women play," says the narrator, "some with deadly seriousness, others because it gets them away from the kitchen sink". Half a century later, of course, they are still not allowed to become members at a lot of clubs.

* Just when Sir Alex Ferguson goes over the Atlantic to woo America, the US federal government shuts down. The Republican party are taking a greater risk than they could ever have contemplated in continuing to reject President Obama's healthcare reforms, because it won't be long before Fergie storms into Congress to give the "hairdryer" treatment to all those right-wingers hugging the out-of-touch line.

Fergie is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist, and it's no surprise that he chose to give his first interview since retiring to Charlie Rose on the not-for-profit Public Broadcasting Service (PBS, Wednesday) rather than the corporate behemoths as he promotes his new book. But he's not just over there on a public-relations jaunt, he is also a tourist with a deep interest in the American Civil War – the Republicans stuck to a pretty controversial policy then too.

He has visited the battlefields at Antietam, Gettysburg and Manassas, and what will really annoy him about the federal shutdown is that he won't be able to do more sightseeing, since all the staff manning the tourist attractions have been told to shut up shop.

"You're a student of the Civil War," prompts Rose, and Fergie enthuses: "Yeah, I love it!" It's an unusual answer to give about mass internecine destruction. But he never did take any prisoners, and he's in good company given that Rose's notable recent interviewees include Syria's Bashar Assad and Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani.

Someone in the Deep South showed Fergie the battle plans of General Sherman, who was a proponent of the "scorched earth" strategy and burnt Atlanta to the ground. It's not a tactic that Fergie ever employed on the field – although Roy Keane came pretty close to it at times – and yet there is a tinge of admiration for the old soldier.

When the discussion turns to his address to Harvard Business School, Fergie says one of his principles is "Never bear grudges, that's very important". Not one to burn his bridges then, unlike Sherman. And yet you can't help thinking of names such as Keane, Beckham, Rooney… Of Beckham, he is full of praise for when he was a youngster but then adds: "His life changed when he married the, er… the girl from, er…" "Spice?" interjects Rose. "Yeah, Spice." He knows her name, but he still can't quite bring himself to say it without turning puce in the face (or even more puce, anyway).

At least viewers will have heard of Beckham, but there were plenty of obscure references. American "homemakers" might not get the concept of "throwing the kitchen sink in the last 15 minutes", and even the most devoted followers of "soccer" might struggle with a story about Sir Bobby Charlton's managerial tenure at Preston North End. The battle-scarred turf of Deepdale need not brace itself for a rush of tourists just yet.

Suggested Topics
News
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
people
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
people
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Sales Manager

£60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Full Stack Software Developer

£35k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game